How sending churches can help their church plant financially

Sending Churches commit to take responsibility for a church plant until it can stand on its own as a self-sustaining, self-governing and self-propagating church. Many Sending Churches have questions about their role in helping a church become self-sustainable.

Here are six ways Sending Churches could walk with a church plant toward financial sustainability:

1. Set a realistic budget.

The Sending Church and church planter should work together to determine a realistic budget that accounts appropriately for personal, administrative, ministry and mission expenses.

2. Determine an appropriate salary.

Sending Churches should help planters determine an appropriate salary that makes it possible for the planter and his family to thrive in their ministry context.

3. Build adequate support.

Sending Churches should take the lead in advocating for a church plant with potential Supporting Churches. Successful plants benefit greatly from a network of churches surrounding them with prayer, participation and provision (when appropriate).

4. Manage bookkeeping, including receiving and distributing funds.

Sending Churches could take the lead role in financial support management and bookkeeping by receiving donations, distributing them with appropriate accountability and providing accounting services for the plant until it has the financial wherewithal and/or the appropriate processes and structures to handle it on its own.

5. Institute appropriate accountability measures.

Sending Churches could take the lead role in advising and supervising the plant’s implementation of appropriate systems to receive donations, distribute salaries, pay bills, process purchase orders, oversee accounting, etc. This often includes walking with the plant through incorporation, formalizing a constitution and bylaws, registration with the Southern Baptist Convention and other logistics necessary to legally organize a church.

6. Trust but verify.

Accountability is important for all. Sending Churches should trust their church planter is handling things appropriately, but verification is critical accountability for the planter, Sending Church and the supporting network.

Resources: Mobilize My Church » Every church can play a vital role in church planting. Church planters need multiple churches working together to help them succeed. The North American Mission Board is here to help churches like yours partner together to plant healthy, multiplying churches.

Published October 14, 2020